22 Jun Is the Fight for Borrowers Coming?
There has been great a deal of focus and articles written on maintaining constantly changing rules and regulations in today’s mortgage market. While this continues to be a top priority for most lenders and technology providers, one surprising technology that is being referenced much more frequently today, is mortgage specific CRM. Yes, you heard me correctly, CRM.
“Customer relationship management is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a company’s interactions with clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service”. 
Previously these tools were generally limited to contact management: monitoring and recording interactions and communications. Most industry participants viewed CRM as a useful tool that was not a game changer or significant component of their overall market strategy.
That may all be changing if the current buzz about mortgage specific CRM has legs. But the real question is why? CRM solutions such as Salesforce.com, Goldmine, ACT, and Sugar have all been around for quite some time. From a technology perspective, “perhaps the most notable trend has been the growth of tools delivered via the Web, also known as cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). In contrast with traditional on-premises software, cloud-computing applications are sold by subscription, accessed via a secure Internet connection, and displayed on a Web browser. Companies don’t incur the initial capital expense of purchasing software; nor must they buy and maintain IT hardware to run it on”. 
In addition to the technology used to host CRM’s the functionality has also significantly been enhanced over the past couple of years. No longer just limited to contact management, many of these systems include: sales force automation, marketing services (i.e. email campaigns, drip campaigns etc.), customer service and support, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and analytics. Technology providers and lenders are now looking to apply this technology in a mortgage specific manner to seize market opportunities.
The technology and its functionality have been significantly enhanced over the years. While these are contributing factors as to why there is so much talk about mortgage specific CRM, is the real reason because technology providers and lenders understand that as we work to rebuild the mortgage market, the new battle will be over the borrower?
With origination volumes slow to pick up momentum even with historically low rates, industry participants are beginning to realize the importance of the relationship with the borrower. The companies that can best solidify the relationship with the borrower are going to hold the key to market share moving forward.
Mortgage specific CRM solutions hold the promise of the technology that will best enhance the borrower relationship. Is that why a number of the LOS providers have added CRM functionality, are looking to build CRM functionality or partnering with mortgage specific CRM providers?
Share with us your thoughts on the move to mortgage specific CRM’s? Is this just another fad or will it truly enhance the battle for the borrower? Is the battle for the borrower relationship what is truly driving the buzz around mortgage specific CRM’s?
Are there current solutions that already provide this type of functionality or does it still need to be built? We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic.
1,2, ^ a b Gartner, Inc. (6 June 2009) What’s ‘Hot’ in CRM Applications in 2009